I’ve just had a fantastic weekend at Denman College learning how to do hollyhocks with ribbon embroidery. Denman College is a wonderful old manor house owned by the Women’s Institute, they run all sorts of courses, historical, fitness, craft, music, I just do the craft courses (no surprise there!!) It’s about four hours away by train and of course I needed something to do during those four hours…
I’m way behind on my Down the Rabbit Hole quilt, it’s a block of the month quilt designed by Sarah Fielke in Australia. I’ve been really impressed so far, she releases the pattern and written instructions each month, but she also does a video which makes everything so much clearer. She also has a facebook page so we can see what everyone is doing, get ideas for colours and general encouragement. Block four has just been released but I’ve just finished block one!!!
This is where I was a few days ago;
In my defence I was trying to get my Splendid Sampler quilt finished first before I got too engrossed in this one, and then I had a charity one to make for the Hands2Help Challenge. If I’m honest though I was also procrastinating over the thought of making my own 1/4″ bias binding. I’ve tried making bias before with one of those little contraptions, they make it look so easy at the shows!!! I really wasn’t that convinced that it was going to be as simple as everyone made out…it was!
Sarah uses a hera marker to make the crease in bias, I’d never even heard of these before, but they are a nifty little tool, not only does it make a nice deep crease but you can also use it to hold the fold down when you’re ironing it, saving the risk if burnt fingers! Once I’d buckled down to it, it really didn’t take long to make the bias. I used two different shades of green to add a bit of variety.
I made the centre circle a couple of months back, there’s more about the process here. Having cut the background (slightly bigger to allow for fraying whilst working!) I arranged circles around the centre, these are the patterns for the flowers which go around the circle. There’s meant to be 26 circles as Sarah doesn’t like things too regular, I don’t do random so I’ve got 24! I could then tack the stems on all going straight out from the centre as instructed.
Having the video makes all the difference, Sarah is great in giving us little tips like matching the thread to the applique not the background and which way to hold the fabric ( sew towards you when doing applique). I used a miliners needle again and did tiny stitches all along the edge. I’m not sure mine were as tiny as they are meant to be, I seem to recall they should be bigger than a 1/16″, but not as much as an 1/8″, I reckon mine are a generous 1/8″”, but that still looks pretty small to me!
So what did I do on my four hour train journey? I stitched my stems down! I wished I’d had time to prepare a few flowers too as I ended up starting another project for the journey back…but more of that another day!
My next job is to applique circular flowers on each stem, each with a centre, so I need to get prepping whilst this quilt is still in the portable stage!